Aegon has entered into an agreement with Nationwide Insurance Company to purchase 100% of the shares of Nationwide Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen na Zycie S.A. (Nationwide Poland) for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition is subject to approval from the Polish insurance regulator and from the anti-trust authorities. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of 2005.
As a result of this acquisition, Aegon will achieve a strong market position in the Polish life insurance industry. Nationwide Poland ranks number one in the Polish market for single premium unit-linked products, with a leading position in the upper-income segment. Based on gross written premiums, the company ranks fifth in the Polish life insurance market.
Nationwide Poland held PLN 968 million (EUR 237 million) in assets and generated gross premiums of PLN 641 million (EUR 157 million) at the end of 2004. After the acquisition, the company will be renamed Aegon Poland.
Aegon expects to achieve significant further growth in the Polish life insurance and pension markets by supporting the current focused strategy of the company, including the expansion of its distribution reach via partner banks, brokers and tied agents.
"Aegon's entry into Poland continues our strategy of expanding further in Central and Eastern Europe," said Aegon Chairman Donald J. Shepard. "We now look forward to leveraging our proven expertise in providing life protection and savings products to serve the needs of Polish citizens."
Michal Biedzki, currently the CEO of Nationwide Poland, will continue his role as CEO of Aegon Poland. "The management board of Nationwide Poland is very pleased to gain such a strong and stable parent company like Aegon. We believe that this will provide us with excellent support in the long term development of our company in existing and new market segments," Mr. Biedzki said.
In addition to his role as CEO of Aegon Hungary, Aegon has appointed Dr. Gábor Kepecs to CEO of Aegon Central and Eastern Europe. In this capacity he will be responsible for Aegon's insurance and pension operations in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.